Inaugurated five years after the colts’ Classic the 2,000 Guineas, the 1,000 Guineas takes place over the same Rowley Mile at Newmarket but is exclusive to three year old fillies. Nowadays the race takes place on the Sunday after the 2,000 Guineas.
It is the second of Britain’s five Classic races, and the first of two restricted to fillies – the other being the Oaks. It can also serve as the opening leg of the Fillies’ Triple Crown, rarely attempted but successfully accomplished back in 1985 by the Sir Henry Cecil trained Oh So Sharp, who followed up in both the Oaks and St Leger, having won a dramatic renewal of the 1,000 Guineas in the spring.
Since 2001 the prize money for the 1,000 Guineas has equalled that of the 2,000 Guineas.
The winning most jockey is George Fordham, who enjoyed success in the 1,000 Guineas on no fewer than seven occasions: Mayonaise (1859), Nemesis (1861), Siberia (1865), Formosa (1868), Scottish Queen (1869), Thebais (1881), Hauteur (1883).
After Charlotte had won the first running in 1814, the following years were dominated by the most successful trainer in the races history as Robert Robson trained nine winners: Corinne (1818), Catgut (1819), Rowena (1820), Zeal (1821), Whizgig (1822), Zinc (1823), Tontine (1825), Problem (1826), Arab (1827).
The last eight of those successes were for the 4th Duke of Grafton who remains the most successful owner in the race’s history.
In 1825 Tontine walked over and in 1840 Crucufix completed the Guineas double at the shortest odds for a winner, returning at 1/10 favourite, while Mayonaise won the 1859 race by an astonishing 20 lengths.
The 1860 renewal went the way of Sagitta and that name would return to the race as a sponsor in modern times. Formosa was another to complete the Guineas double in 1868 having dead-heated in the 2,000 Guineas that same week.
Two outstanding fillies enhanced the race in the early 20th Century as Sceptre in 1902 and Pretty Polly in 1904 claimed 1,000 Guineas glory and the brilliantly fast Diadem won the race in 1917.
Two horses still remembered to this day at Newmarket one the Guineas around the time of the Second World War. Firstly Rockfel triumphed in 1938 and then four years later the Guineas went to Sun Chariot.
Musidora in 1949 and Meld in 1955 were notable winners and were followed by the extraordinary Petite Etoile in 1959 and Sweet Solera in 1961.
Lester Piggott’s first success came in 1970 when Humble Duty completed the Guineas double for the maestro, who also rode Nijinsky that week in the colts’ equivalent. Highclere was a popular and talented winner for Her Majesty The Queen in 1974, ridden by Joe Mercer. That decade ended with the first of six victories in the race for Sir Henry Cecil, as Mercer rode the diminutive One In A Million to victory in the race.
Cecil’s second win came with Piggott in 1981 when Fairy Footsteps was successful – but the extraordinary thing was that Piggott was able to ride at all. He had been dragged under the starting stalls in a horrific incident days earlier which had almost torn his ear off. Bandaged up the Maestro saddled up on Fairy Footsteps and dictated the pace in vintage style.
Ma Biche provided a significant winner in 1983 as she was trained by the leading French lady Criquette Head-Maarek – and owned by Sheikh Maktoum Al Maktoum. A year later Pebbles signalled her arrival as a champion filly with a brilliant win which kick-started a career which would take in an Eclipse Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Turf among many other highlights.
Oh So Sharp beat a vintage field in an amazing race for the 1985 Guineas. The unbeaten filly appeared beaten with a furlong to run as Classic winner Al Bahathri and Bella Colora set out to fight the finish. But Oh So Sharp and Steve Cauthen sprouted wings in the final 100 yards to catch the pair and inch her nose in front on the line. The outstanding Triptych finished behind in a magnificent renewal.
Midway Lady completed the Guineas-Oaks double in 1986 and in 1987 there was another exceptional superstar winner in the form of dual Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Miesque. Like Oh So Sharp two years earlier, Miesque looked beaten before delivering a phenomenal turn of foot to pass her rivals and win the race in a style that became her trademark in the late 1980s. Ravinella made it two in a row for the French the following year.
Sir Michael Stoute had trained numerous horses to finish second but had not trained a 1,000 Guineas winner until Musical Bliss ended the wait in the 1989 renewal, owned by Sheikh Mohammed.
The Maktoum influence was in the ascendancy by this stage and the outstanding Guineas/Oaks/Irish Derby winner Salsabil took the 1990 renewal in Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s silks, before the same owner won the race again with Shadayid in 1991.
In 1992 Hatoof won a second renewal for Sheikh Maktoum and Criquette Head-Maarek, defeating the brilliant miler Marling.
Clive Brittain had trained Pebbles to win the race in 1984 and he had another star filly on his hands with Sayyedati, who took the 1993 Guineas. A year later a desperate finish saw Las Meninas beat subsequent Oaks and Irish Derby heroine Balanchine.
In 1995 Harayir gave the legendary trainer Major Dick Hern a final Classic success and the following two years saw Sir Henry Cecil win back to back runnings with the brilliant Bosra Sham and then Sleepytime, ridden by new stable jockey Kieren Fallon.
In 1998 Cape Verdi was a brilliant winner of the race and the following year Cecil trained Wince to win the race.
Lahan, Ameerat and Kazzia were all winners for the Maktoum’s at the start of the new Millennium and then Russian Rhythm ran out a classy winner in 2003 under Fallon. Attraction had been a precocious two year old but showed her bold front running tactics were equally adept over a mile at three as she held on for a famous win in 2004.
In 2005 Fallon was at it again as he sealed his new job as first jockey to Aidan O’Brien with a win in both Guineas aboard Footstepsinthesand in the 2,000 and Virgian Waters in the 1,000 a day later.
Speciosa struck a blow for the smaller stables in 2006 and then Finsceal Beo confirmed her earlier promise with Guineas success in 2007. The grey French filly Natagora won the race in 2008 and the following year Barry Hills trained Ghanaati to win the race in the fastest recorded time.
In 2010 there was controversy as the Sir Henry Cecil trained Jaqueline Quest – a 66/1 shot, got the better of the hot favourite Special Duty, but was then disqualified for causing interference, providing Criquette Head-Maarek with her third winner of the race.
Blue Bunting provided something of a surprise winner for Godolphin the following year but not as much as Homecoming Queen’s success in 2012. She was enterprisingly ridden by Ryan Moore and ploughed a lone furrow down the far rail to annihilate her rivals.
In 2013 the race went to Sky Lantern, providing Champion Jockey Richard Hughes with a long-awaited first English Classic success. The grey filly was trained by Richard Hannon in his final season before retirement.
A year later, the French trainer Andre Fabre, saddled Miss France to win the race, completing the maestro’s full set of English Classics.
By contrast, in 2015, David Wachman sent out his first English Classic winner as Legatissimo and Ryan Moore were successful.
Irish domination continued in 2016, as Aidan O’Brien unleashed a real superstar in Minding. The filly had been an outstanding juvenile, when her victories had included the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket. In the Guineas, she pulled right away from her rivals in a brilliant performance, which set the standard on a memorable 2016. By season’s end, she had added the Oaks, Pretty Polly Stakes, Nassau Stakes and QEII.
The 2017 winner, Winter, had the benefit of having been trained both by Wachman and O’Brien. Lightly raced at two, Winter moved to Ballydoyle following the retirement of Wachman. After running second at Leopardstown, she headed to Newmarket relatively unconsidered, but made no mistake in defeating Rhododendron. Winter would prove one of the horses of the year, landing the Irish 1,000 Guineas, Coronation Stakes and Nassau Stakes.
2018 brought a shock as the outsider Billesdon Brook gamely held off multiple Group One winner Laurens, to give trainer Richard Hannon a second success in the fillies’ Classic.
The runner-up went on to land the Group One Prix Saint Alary, the Prix de Diane, the Matron Stakes and the Sun Chariot Stakes.
1,000 Guineas Roll of Honour:
|1815||Filly by Selim||Bill Clift|
|1826||Problem||John Barham Day|
|1829||Young Mouse||Bill Arnull|
|1830||Charlotte West||Jem Robinson|
|1834||May-day||John Barham Day|
|1836||Destiny||John Barham Day|
|1837||Chapeau d’Espagne||John Barham Day|
|1840||Crucifix||John Barham Day|
|1843||Extempore||Sam Chifney, Jr.|
|1850||Lady Orford||Frank Butler|
|1853||Mentmore Lass||Jack Charlton|
|1856||Manganese||John Osborne, Jr.|
|1863||Lady Augusta||Arthur Edwards|
|1866||Repulse||Tom Cannon, Sr.|
|1869||Scottish Queen||George Fordham|
|1874||Apology||John Osborne, Jr.|
|1878||Pilgrimage||Tom Cannon, Sr.|
|1879||Wheel of Fortune||Fred Archer|
|1882||St Marguerite||Charles Wood|
|1884||Busybody||Tom Cannon, Sr.|
|1886||Miss Jummy||John Watts|
|1887||Reve d’Or||Charles Wood|
|1892||La Fleche||George Barrett|
|1898||Nun Nicer||Sam Loates|
|1904||Pretty Polly||Willie Lane|
|1905||Cherry Lass||George McCall|
|1907||Witch Elm||Barry Lynham|
|1913||Jest||Fred Rickaby, Jr.|
|1914||Princess Dorrie||Bill Huxley|
|1915||Vaucluse||Fred Rickaby, Jr.|
|1916||Canyon||Fred Rickaby, Jr.|
|1917||Diadem||Fred Rickaby, Jr.|
|1922||Silver Urn||Brownie Carslake|
|1925||Saucy Sue||Frank Bullock|
|1927||Cresta Run||Arthur Balding|
|1929||Taj Mah||Wally Sibbritt|
|1930||Fair Isle||Tommy Weston|
|1931||Four Course||Charlie Elliott|
|1933||Brown Betty||Joe Childs|
|1941||Dancing Time||Dick Perryman|
|1942||Sun Chariot||Gordon Richards|
|1944||Picture Play||Charlie Elliott|
|1945||Sun Stream||Harry Wragg|
|1951||Belle of All||Gordon Richards|
|1953||Happy Laughter||Manny Mercer|
|1957||Rose Royale||Charlie Smirke|
|1958||Bella Paola||Serge Boullenger|
|1959||Petite Etoile||Doug Smith|
|1960||Never Too Late||Roger Poincelet|
|1961||Sweet Solera||Bill Rickaby|
|1963||Hula Dancer||Roger Poincelet|
|1965||Night Off||Bill Williamson|
|1966||Glad Rags||Paul Cook|
|1969||Full Dress||Ron Hutchinson|
|1970||Humble Duty||Lester Piggott|
|1971||Altesse Royale||Yves Saint-Martin|
|1975||Nocturnal Spree||Johnny Roe|
|1976||Flying Water||Yves Saint-Martin|
|1977||Mrs McArdy||Edward Hide|
|1978||Enstone Spark||Ernie Johnson|
|1979||One In A Million||Joe Mercer|
|1980||Quick As Lightning||Brian Rouse|
|1981||Fairy Footsteps||Lester Piggott|
|1982||On The House||John Reid|
|1983||Ma Biche||Freddy Head|
|1985||Oh So Sharp||Steve Cauthen|
|1986||Midway Lady||Ray Cochrane|
|1988||Ravinella||Gary W. Moore|
|1989||Musical Bliss||Walter Swinburn|
|1994||Las Meninas||John Reid|
|1996||Bosra Sham||Pat Eddery|
|1998||Cape Verdi||Frankie Dettori|
|2003||Russian Rhythm||Kieren Fallon|
|2005||Virginia Waters||Kieren Fallon|
|2007||Finsceal Beo||Kevin Manning|
|2010||Special Duty||Stéphane Pasquier|
|2011||Blue Bunting||Frankie Dettori|
|2012||Homecoming Queen||Ryan Moore|
|2013||Sky Lantern||Richard Hughes|
|2014||Miss France||Maxime Guyon|